How your Criminal History Can Prevent you from Receiving U.S. Citizenship

How your Criminal History Can Prevent you from Receiving U.S. Citizenship

On Behalf of Coughlon Law Firm, PLLC. | Apr 23, 2024 | Immigration

Having a criminal record can significantly impact your eligibility for U.S. citizenship since it raises concerns about moral character and your ability to adhere to the country’s laws. When evaluating your application, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) looks at any criminal acts you may have committed domestically or in other countries. Depending on the crimes, you may have a temporary or permanent ban imposed on your citizenship. Generally, you are considered “convicted” if you confess to a crime or plead guilty, you receive a suspended sentence, or a court finds you guilty of a crime.

Crimes That Might Lead to Permanent Bars on U.S. Citizenship

You will be permanently barred from U.S. citizenship if you’ve been convicted of a murder. You may also be barred permanently if you commit an aggravated felony, which includes DUIs, sex with a person below the age of consent, rape, tax evasion, drug trafficking, and money laundering over $10,000. It is also important to note that apart from being permanently barred from U.S. citizenship, you may be deported if you are convicted of any of these crimes.

Crimes That Can Lead to Temporary Bars on U.S. Citizenship

Prostitution, drug possession, solicitation, possession of illegal drugs (except small amounts of marijuana), and minor fraud cases are examples of crimes that can lead to a temporary ban on citizenship. The duration of the ban varies depending on the offense committed. However, in most cases, the ban typically takes between 3 and 5 years. You may also experience a temporary ban on U.S. citizenship for any previous conviction that led to incarceration for 180 days or more.

Get in Touch With Us

At the end of the day, it is not easy to predict how the USCIS will respond to your criminal record when evaluating your application. The best you can do is seek the advice of an experienced attorney to help you anticipate potential pitfalls and increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Contact Coughlon Law in AZ today for expert advice and representation.






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